Cynthia Wisehart on AVIXA

Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
download (2).jpeg

This month, the biggest industry news is InfoComm’s debut as AVIXA. It’s a large scale reimagining of the association (the trade shows will remain InfoComm. though in my particular imagination I can see how that too could change in time).

First the initials. AV is for AV, IX is for Experience, and A is for Association. It’s the IX of course that matters.

As I thought about this, I realized that as a theme park and museum designer, AV for me was always IX.  I learned everything I could about AV technology because how could I design experiences without understanding what was technically possible? Every system I deployed was in the service of an experience that had been as carefully planned as the signal path. (Best laid plans of course).

 I’d initially assumed that all segments of the AV market worked that way, but of course that’s not true. For many people in AV, it’s not always possible to be close to the true purpose of the system or the experience of the user. In entertainment, AV and experience are so intertwined that they must align from the very beginning in a totally concrete way, every step of the way. You can’t make compelling or connected experiences in a silo. 

 But in many other areas of the industry the AV person is the last to know—if they ever do—about the experience. Sure, we learn about the experience when it doesn't meet expectations or doesn’t work. That experience. But what about the imagined experience? What it should feel like? The whole reason for doing it in the first place? Many times AV professionals must fight to be at that table where those ideas are formed and shared.

 That’s a shame. In my design career, the AV professionals were vital creative collaborators and it is hard to know where the line was between the experience designers and the technical designers, and between the show directors and the installers and programmers. I cannot tell you how many times on site it was the technical person who solved the unanticipated problem in the best way. Because they knew intimately what the experience was supposed to be, and they were technically fluent and creative. Most importantly—they knew stuff about how sound and image can create experience for all kinds of interactions. That’s not the same thing as IT. IT creates access, convenience and connection. But the life that people live on those networks? The experience? That's AV.

 So I believe InfoComm has made a transformative move. If they can help AV professionals get closer to the experiences—if AVIXA can help get our industry a place at the table where the value is conceived and charted, it will be the best thing that can happen. Not just economically but creatively. And dare I say, emotionally. AV tools—audio and video, sound and image—are powerful instruments of human communication and experience. I think we needed to say that out loud.

Related

Cynthia Wisehart on AVIXA

As we go to press, the biggest industry news is InfoComm’s debut as AVIXA. It’s a large scale reimagining of the association (the trade shows will remain InfoComm, though in my imagination I can see how that too could change in time). First the initials. AV for AV, IX for ...read more

images (1).jpeg

Cynthia Wisehart on Audio and UX

The theme this month is education. In my travels I came across an education story that I really liked. I wrote about it on page 37 of the print issue. It struck me because it captures the changing user dynamic as younger people grow up with devices, taking signal quality for ...read more

Cynthia Wisehart on AES70

Earlier this year, Bruce Olson, chair of the Audio Engineering Society Standards Committee (AESSC) and Jeff Berryman, chair of the OCA Technical Workgroup, announced the ratification and publication of AES70, an open control and monitoring standard for professional audio and AV ...read more

Cynthia Wisehart in the Field

This week I was out in the field for two days to see AV installations in real life—at Full Sail University, the Golf Channel, Amway Arena, the Moffitt Cancer Center, and USF Health. In our virtual lives where we see the world through Retina screens much of the time, it’s ...read more

Cynthia Wisehart on HOW Nashville

I’m excited to tell you that I’m working on an event for November. We’re going to be doing a daylong Houses of Worship educational event at Belmont University in Nashville on November 12th. I’d like you to come if you can. This is a first-time event, but it’s being co-located ...read more

Cynthia Wisehart on Ethernet Switches

One of the most interesting things I saw at NAB was an Ethernet switch. Yamaha built the SWP1 series for use in Dante networks as an additional alternative to Cisco switches. The switches are not cheap— north of $1000 (I remember hearing $1300). Yamaha’s marketing lead for ...read more